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Moving Forward Together
Disability and Work in Canada (DWC) Initiative

In 2017, the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy (CRWDP), the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW), Inclusion Newfoundland (InclusionNL) and the Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Groups (ONIWG) came together to support the development of a pan-Canadian strategy for disability and work. We are calling this collaboration the Disability and Work in Canada (DWC) Initiative.

A draft of the strategy is now available: DWC Draft Strategy PDF version, DWC Draft Strategy Word version, DWC Draft Strategy text version.

Executive Summary from the draft strategy is available: DWC Draft Strategy Exec Summary PDF VersionDWC Draft Strategy Exec Summary Word VersionDWC Draft Strategy Exec Summary Text Version.


Through the activities and continued collaboration, the momentum to develop and implement a strategy across the country is growing. Here is the list of the events and activities spearheaded by the DWC Initiative to-date:

  1. National Policy Roundtable, 2015. “Informing the Roadmap for Work Disability Policy in Canada”. The roundtable provided an opportunity for dialogue among senior policy officials on issues related to disability & work and formed the partnerships that fed into the DWC initiative.
  2. Disability and Work in Canada National Conference, 2017. Discussions at the conference contributed to the development of the draft strategy.
  3. National Policy Roundtable, 2017. “Developing a Vision and Strategy for the Future.” Vision and pillars for the Pan-Canadian strategy on disability & work were discussed at the roundtable. This meeting was an opportunity to further strengthen existing partnerships and form new ones. Policy Roundtable summary (PDF version); Policy Roundtable summary (Word version).
  4. Disability and Work in Canada National Conference, 2018. A draft strategy on Disability and Work was distributed in the Fall of 2018, prior to the conference. The objective of the conference was to review the strategy and to foster broad consensus on its key elements.


We have now started the new phase in the development of pan-Canadian strategy: “Engagement and Consultation on the Pan-Canadian Strategy on Disability and Work” (January – June 2019). The main objective for this phase is to engage and consult a broad range of organizations and individuals, especially those not involved in previous engagement, to obtain their input on the current draft strategy.

We are conducting engagement and consultation through the two main vehicles:

  • An online survey
  • One-on-one and group consultation sessions to discuss the draft strategy and get feedback on it (March – June 2019). See upcoming consultation meetings below

Video of the presentation of the DWC draft strategy, for DWC survey and consultations.

Once feedback from the DWC National Conference in 2018 and consultations is reviewed and consolidated, we will produce a revised draft of the strategy to be discussed at the Disability & Work in Canada National Conference to be held in Ottawa in December 2019. Please do join us for that event.

To keep informed as to the progress of the Draft Canadian Strategy for Disability and Work consultations and updates on revisions, sign up for DWC distribution list here

DWC Steering Committee Members (listed alphabetically by last name): Alec Farquhar, Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy; Maureen Haan, Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work; Kathy Hawkins, Inclusion NL: Employer Support Services; Steve Mantis, Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups; Kathy Padkapayeva, Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy; Ron Saunders, Institute for Work & Health; Emile Tompa, Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy; and Monica Winkler, Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work.